2018 #SFTop25 finalist - Sofiya Chorniy

Photo from Sofiya Chorniy.

Photo from Sofiya Chorniy.

HOMETOWN: Toronto, Ontario
TRADITIONAL TERRITORY: Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. The territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Ojibwe and allied Nations.
AGE: 24

When Sofiya got involved in modelling and pageants, she wanted to use this experience to elevate her voice and build confidence in sharing her views. In 2013, she won Miss Earth Canada advocating for outdoor activities for children to encourage physical activity and build a human-nature connection.

Sofiya’s love for nature started as a young child, playing outside regardless of the weather. In her late teens she found the confidence to share these views and as an active member in her community, she continues to promote a sustainable lifestyle.  

Photo from Sofiya Chorniy.

Photo from Sofiya Chorniy.

While studying physical education, she was exposed to the idea of connecting to the environment while reading “Last Child in the Woods” by Richard Louv. Physical activity had  always an important part of Sofiya’s life, and now the concept from this book of safeguarding children from a nature-deficit was deeply intertwined with her core values. From then on, Sofiya was always looking for ways to volunteer her time to protecting the environment. 

Her involvement with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup allowed her to meet many members of her community, and her passion was infectious. The beauty of the natural environment is what inspires Sofiya, she loves physically seeing the difference you make when partaking in a shoreline cleanup. 

Continuing this sustainability journey, her time has been dedicated to Sustainable Joes. Sustainable Joes inclues a panelist discussion and podcast series that helps make topics about protecting the environment more accessible and digestible for the average person!

Recently, she has also been involved with Green Neighbours Network which is an organization in Toronto that helps environmental organizations support each other in their initiatives. The GNN connects community members interested in contributing to greening their city to the initiatives that best suit their skills and interests. 

We wish Sofiya luck in her endeavour to empower and strengthen the human-nature connection. 

Passion is lifted from the earth itself by the muddy hands of the young; it travels along grass-stained sleeves to the heart. If we are going to save environmentalism and the environment, we must also save an endangered indicator species: the child in nature.
— Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

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